CritiqueMatch is a platform where writers and beta readers connect and exchange work for free! New: You can also buy a critique or beta-reading service from our top-rated users!

Mar 2, 2021

What it Takes to Write

By: Andrew Rydberg 

One of the most difficult parts about writing is getting started. You’ll get a million ideas, characters, scenes - you name it. But every time you sit down and are about to put it all on paper, your mind goes blank. Doubts start flooding in, you forget some of the key items you wanted to include, and every menial distraction becomes overbearing. Finally, you say, “forget this!” and walk away, thinking maybe next time will be better. It’s a common roadblock. But it’s not as hard to get around as you think.

The first thing you need to remember when writing recreationally is that there is NO time limit. You don’t have a teacher, a boss, or a parent hovering over you and telling you to hurry up and get it done. It’s most likely you that’s telling yourself to hurry up. It’s similar to the phrase, “you are your harshest critic.” It’s okay if it takes days, weeks, even months to get started. Take the time you need to get the picture in your head. You don’t have to bring it to life until you’re ready. 

Taking that first step is all it takes to begin the journey that is creating your work. There also isn’t a specific order you need to write in. You don’t have to start at the beginning. You can start in the middle, at the end, wherever you’re the most confident. And once you get that confidence going, something amazing happens. It feels like your story seems to write itself. 

Let’s say you’ve already started, but you’re stuck somewhere and not sure how to continue. A writer needs three things in order to produce their best work: Time, motivation, and inspiration. Before you sit down and write anything, you need to ask yourself these questions. Do I have time? Do I feel like writing? Do I have something to write? Having all three is the most ideal situation. You can produce good work with only two, but it won't be your best work. If you have only one or fewer, it’s best you come back another time. 

Something that’s easily forgotten about writing is that it needs to be fun. You should enjoy bringing your imagination to life! How can your audience enjoy reading something you created, if you didn’t enjoy creating it? You should never force yourself to write. Sometimes it’s best to put the pen down for a while. Just keep in mind why you wanted to write, and you’ll come back to it in no time.  

So don’t be nervous starting your journey. And nobody says you have to do it alone. I actually encourage new writers to have someone, like a critique partner, look over their work as it’s made. Just because they pitch in an idea or suggestion, doesn't mean it’s no longer your work. It’s still your book, still your characters, still your imagination brought to life. You’ve got a whole world in your head, and the world wants to see it. 


About the author

Andrew started writing at a very young age. Being the only child in his neighborhood, he often spent time alone with his over-active imagination. His passion for animals and superheroes would be the flint and steel that lit the fire that was his writing hobby. At eight years old, Andrew wrote his first story/comic. 

His middle and high school days didn’t have as many opportunities. With all his free time spent in studying, sports, or friends, Andrew rarely found time to write. But he loved to read. It was his Sophomore year in high school that Andrew would read the series that cemented his love for fantasy. “The Belgariad” by David Eddings would subconsciously unlock the desire to make his own novel. 

The four years after graduating would be a stand-still for his writing. In September of 2015, Andrew enlisted in the infantry for the Marine Corps. Through dozens of training missions, two deployments, and countless hours of exercises and range practice; Andrew hardly had the opportunity or motivation to write. But as his enlistment neared an end, he had time. More importantly, he had inspiration. In the last two months of his contract, Andrew started his first novel. “The Elaethium.”